The Mkhuze Airport is a catalytic project undertaken by UMhlosinga Development Agency on behalf of uMkhanyakude District Municipality. The project aims to upgrade the existing airport in Mkhuze town to serve as a regional airport forming a critical link within the hierarchy of Airports in South Africa in terms of linking various small airfields / airstrips within the uMkhanyakude District (e.g. at Hluhluwe, Manguzi, Hluhluwe, Mtubatuba, Dukuduku, Manzengwenya, Ndumo, Lawmere, etc) with Provincial Airports in Kwa-Zulu Natal Province like Richards Bay Airport, Pietermaritzburg Airport and Ulundi Airport which in turn links into National / International Airports (ACSA) like King Shaka International Airport in Durban, OR Tambo Airport in Gauteng and Cape Town International.
All the studies conducted in the past eleven years have concluded that the Mkhuze Airport is viable as a catalytic project and Public Sector funding of this infrastructure is deemed justified. It was however confirmed that it will take more than 10 years for the airport to break even and start making a profit if implemented purely as an airport. Learning from the current trends of aerotropolis around the world, a decision was made that a precinct should be developed around the airport that also provides non aviation services, in order to make the project sustainable and profitable, hence the project is named Mkhuze Airport City Development and the objective is to develop both Aviation and Non-aviation land uses.
The market studies conducted, indicated that the Airport Precinct would thrive in UMkhanyakude from a mix use of the following commercial activities:
- Medium to high income residential,
- Medium to high income retail,
- Medium to high income hotel and conference facility and
- Office Block
- Heritage & Cultural facility
- Aircraft Hangers
- Aviation Training Academy